Cottagecore: Design for a Slower Paced Life
7 min read
Last Modified 31 August 2023 First Added 4 October 2021
At its heart, the booming Cottagecore trend is all about more simplicity and less haste. Centred on ideas of living a simple life and being more in tune with nature, it embraces the many charms of the English countryside.
Cottagecore romanticises the rural lifestyle – floral prints, flowy dresses, gardening, greenery and animals – essentially, it’s what you’d imagine living in a cottage of your dreams in the countryside would be like. Read on to learn how you can identify and replicate your favourite aspects of this rapidly blooming design trend to adorn your bedroom and the rest of your home.
Inspired by a quaint and idealised vision of country life, Cottagecore also encompasses the survival of the environment, home cooked organic food and the importance of caring for others. Its ideals can help to satisfy a popular desire for “an aspirational form of nostalgia” as well as an escape from many forms of stress and trauma, according to its supporters. The New York Times called cottagecore, ‘a reaction to hustle culture and the advent of personal branding.’
In the wake of Covid and its associated lockdowns, many of us started looking to the natural world for relaxation and this brought about the rise of the cottagecore movement on social media. Furthermore, back in 2020 Taylor Swift released her eighth studio album, Folklore, to great critical and commercial success. Featuring songs written during the lockdown, her album’s promotion of cottagecore in its lyrics and artwork has been credited with boosting the movement’s popularity.
Even pre-pandemic there was a tendency towards bringing the outdoors, indoors, perhaps due to longer working hours and smaller city apartments becoming the norm. Now, after having more free time than ever before, many of us have been looking to reboot our lifestyles to permanently find a slower pace of life and make the most of our time.
Cottagecore is all about slowing down, putting less of an emphasis on yourself and instead focusing more on finding refuge in the things you enjoy, especially if they create a slower pace of life. This lifestyle choice features some common concepts, including home-baking, gardening, walking, and wearing relaxing, fit-for-purpose and second-hand clothes. On Tiktok, Instagram and other social media platforms, you’ll see its enthusiasts reading books in meadows, hosting picnics and twirling around in flowy dresses.
Here are some of the main features of the cottagecore fantasy you can easily get involved with yourself that will help you feel like you’re living in a quaint cottage in a fairy-tale forest!
Perhaps the most popular depiction of the cottagecore aesthetic on television is The Great British Bake Off which features traditional baked goods and baking methods, some of which were more common in historical cottages than they are in modern-day kitchens. Some of the most common cottagecore associated baked goods include loaves of bread, pies, and jams.
The mass desire to escape to a green space is clear from reports that rural estate agents have been inundated with urban dwellers wishing to move from the city to find a peaceful, rural idyllic life. Taking a walk in the countryside or your local park before or after you start work, or even over your lunch break, is a great and healthy way to get involved in the movement.
Cottagecore fashion is strongly influenced by simpler, older times from the 1900s to 1950s. Lace, embroidery and puffed sleeves are all important aspects of this style, as well as items that are embroidered or have laces to give traditional 1950s vibes. Other fashion staples include puffy sleeves and billowy blouses to create that farm-like attire.
Cottagecore has also become an interior design trend based around florals and nostalgic patterns, to create a strong pastoral vibe. Helpfully its aesthetic is ideal for all rooms of the house, from kitchens to bathrooms, and living rooms to bedrooms.
Here are some simple ideas that you can use to give your own home a feel reminiscent of living in a simple cottage in the old English countryside:
Floral patterned wallpaper, rugs, vases and cushions enable you to create a natural, soft look that can have a calming effect. Make the most of charity shops and ask friends or relatives if they’ve got any decorative plates, flower pots or trinkets they no longer want. Reusing and recycling are key aspects of cottagecore.
As the nights start drawing in it’s a great time to bring nature inside your home so that you can enjoy it all-year-round. Houseplants and fresh-cut flowers are a good place to start. They brighten up any space and fill the air with inspiring scents. To bestow your home with a back-to-nature look, pick some pretty flowers from your garden and place them into decorated jam jars.
You can also collect shells, driftwood and attractive pebbles and make decorations for your home out of leaves, bark, berries and pine cones. Make use of the what you can find when out on a country walk – you’ll find many of the best things about cottagecore are free!
In the bedroom, you can layer high-quality bed linen in neutral shades, with thick woven wool blankets for that cottagecore feel, along with pastoral print cushions and plenty of candles to provide a soft, warm and natural glow. Next, you might want to have some wooden furniture to complete your bedroom. Our wooden beds come in a variety of rustic styles and finishes to suit almost any room. Fitting right into the cottagecore theme of sustainability, our wooden bed frames will stand the test of time.
Then you’ll need to find a cottagecore-friendly colour. Green is the colour of nature and for many people it brings the feeling of tranquillity and freshness. Here are some gorgeous green bedroom ideas with wooden beds and bedside tables to give your bedroom that natural atmosphere.
Cottagecore emphasises a connection with nature, sustainable living, recycling and upcycling through activities such as knitting, sewing, and gardening. By focusing on ‘traditional’ crafts like weaving you can help to preserve the past and safeguard the future. You can also help to give a new lease of life to practices that may otherwise start to die out, and by reducing waste and our growing reliance on consumer culture.
Its ‘make do and mend’ and ‘it’s the little things in life’, attitudes are what makes Cottagecore more than just a style trend, but a more ethical and mindful way of life with significant benefits to your mental health.
Cottagecore offers you an escape from materialism, a chance to enjoy nostalgia for childhood and a gentle meditative craft to help distract your mind. It can help to lift your mood and bring about feelings of well-being which can contribute to helping you sleep better. The movement also ties in with the sustainability message to live a greener, less materialistic lifestyle.
If you find this appealing there are so many ways you can get involved that you’re bound to find one that you can weave into your life. Another popular interior design trend called Hygge also embraces feelings of contentment and cosiness and you can read all about Hygge here. For some further inspirational ideas, have a look at these trends and style ideas for transforming your bedroom to help you sleep better.